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When University Innovation Changed the World: Ultrasound

By February 15, 2023No Comments

Did you know that an obstetrician at the University of Glasgow invented the ultrasound? Dr. Ian Donald developed the revolutionary noninvasive imaging method used for diagnosis and prenatal examination.

Prior to the invention of ultrasound technology, other methods were used for prenatal examination. These techniques included using a stethoscope for hearing a heartbeat and a tape measure to ensure the baby was growing. These methods involved a lot of estimation, which was not very effective. In 1958, while working as a Professor of Regius Midwifery at the University of Glasgow, Dr. Ian Donald led engineer Tom Brown, Dr. John MacVicar, and a team of researchers in the development of the ultrasound. The technology allowed medical professionals to perform a noninvasive imaging test on patients, utilizing sound waves to generate images of structures within the body. The life-saving technology was first used for detecting abnormalities in pregnancies and still is today, but it was later used as a diagnostic imaging tool for organ and soft tissue conditions as well.

Currently, the ultrasound equipment market is growing due to increased demand for diagnosis and a growing geriatric population. The global ultrasound equipment market was worth $7.1 billion in 2020 and is expected to increase to over $14.3 billion by 2030. This billion-dollar industry was established from innovation that took place at a university. 

Innovation at universities can change the world. Keeping up with university innovation is crucial to your organization’s competitiveness as it allows you to identify new technologies that can help to give you a competitive edge in the market. FirstIgnite can help your organization identify and partner with the specific universities, laboratories, and experts you need in order to discover the next breakthrough in medical technology, like the ultrasound.